“if you fed your neighbours” by Julia on her couch

Wednesday August 22, 2018
8:39pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Rebecca Solnit

you should feed them the bullshit
hi how are you good I’m good we’re good she’s good
no we can’t hear you coughing no we didn’t realize we were so loud
no we don’t have any sugar for you to borrow
you should tell them you are practicing a scene for acting class when they catch you screaming your lungs off
spilling your own secrets
about who you really are
you should tell them the thing they want to hear
i’m happy we’re happy he’s happy we’re good we’re staying together we’re really good actors we’re really passionate people

“I liked watching him BBQ” by Sasha on her couch

Thursday June 7, 2018
11:13pm
5 minutes
From a text 

Driving along the country road
The paved ones before the gravel ones
I stick my arm out the window
and play with the air

You’ve never been to Knowlton Lake before
and I am already excited about waking up tomorrow
The way that the quiet hugs
The way that the birds know
the tune to the songs in our hearts

I can do no wrong with you
except when I do and then it’s bad
And then I cower in the corner
and you use your size
And I say that this isn’t what I want
and you cry until we go to the bedroom

James Taylor on the tape deck
I realize that I don’t know if
corn is in season
if we have to turn on the water
if there’s a French press

“I make him feel guilty.” by Julia at Lindsay’s house


Wednesday May 18, 2016
10:44pm
5 minutes
Burner Season
Ellie Sawatzky


Kev and I haven’t spoken since last Wednesday. It’s been a week. I told him I wanted to see how long we could go without engaging with each other. He was angry that I even suggested something like that. I didn’t say it but I wanted him to know how I felt. How when I want intimacy, conversation, attention, I have to practically beg him for it. I wanted him to know what it felt like to live with someone who didn’t “put out” emotionally. So far it’s been brutal for both of us but I don’t know who’s got it worse. I decided on purpose that I would avoid him to teach him a lesson but I’m not sure if I’ve now pushed him away instead. When we have to share the kitchen, Kev reaching up to the top shelf to pull down his favourite cereal bowl, me underneath him grinding flax seeds, we don’t make eye contact if we can avoid it. I don’t know what he would do if I looked him in the eye, but I do know that if he met my gaze I would have a hard time keeping my mouth away from his. This distance, despite my efforts to remain unmoved has made me want him more than I am maybe willing to control. I have been fighting myself for 7 days: Make him come to me, or make him come for me.

“a wacky one” by Julia at her dining table


Saturday, January 16, 2016
12:05pm
5 minutes
overheard on the 16 bus

I don’t know what he meant when he said “That’s what you do.”
Said like an insult instead of forgiveness. Said like punishment. Said like tar.
I said I was sorry for nagging him and he said, “That’s what you do.”
Bells. Sirens. Those words went off in my brain like a fourth of July massacre.
That tone.
Loud.
And clear.
But I don’t know what he meant, that I nag, that’s what I do? Like he’s come to know me as the type who won’t ever pick a battle, or back down from an opinion that not everyone shares?
Or that I am sorry a lot and so I apologize a lot, and maybe that’s the thing that I do.
Either way it did not feel like a compliment.
Or a way to mend the bridge that we had both taken a match to earlier.
I wanted to reach him when he felt far away.
My instinct was to cry so I made very sure not to.

“make strong choices on the fly” by Sasha at Horseshoe Bay


Sunday November 8, 2015
11:16pm
5 minutes
from nativeearth.ca/w28series/

A: Are you even listening to me?
B: Of course I am –
A: What did I just say?
B: “You want to quit.”
A: NO!
B: Something about quitting…
A: Why is it so hard for you to just pay attention to me? Why are you always looking at the clock?
B: Do you really want to know?
A: Yes!
B: We ordered that pizza exactly twenty seven minutes ago… And, if it’s over a half hour, we get it for free. We could really use a free pizza.
A: Grrr…
B: I’m just excited about the pizza!
A: I want to quit my job of ten years and you’re thinking about pizza.
B: Tell me you aren’t thinking about pizza?
A: You love pizza more than you love me!
B: Not true.
A: True.
B: Not at all true! That would be so so sad!
A: You do love pizza…
B: I really do.

“wrote a long great piece” by Julia on her bed


Friday, July 17, 2015
2:47am
5 minutes
A tweet by Sheila Heti

Dear Edith,

Your last letter was hard to read and yet I find myself rereading it every day; sometimes twice. I didn’t know there were so many things you found unpleasing about me. After all this correspondence, I suppose two people can fight just as they would if they saw each other face to face as often. I am understanding of our closeness and though I’d like to believe our relationship is immune to the casualties of constant interaction, I see now that it is not special or unique at all. Part of me likes that it is not because it takes some of the pressures of perfection away. I know now that if you can hurt me, I can hurt you, and that doesn’t make us love each other any less. What I struggle with is the fear that you have felt this way for some time and my once beloved qualities have now added up to an amount that is undesirable to you. Please, Edith, if you would, respond in honesty: Have I been bothering you for long? Or have you just recently noticed my flaws? I wonder this for if it’s the latter then I have to ask: Is everything in the right place with you? Sometimes, my dear Edith, we see ourselves in others…

“Our backyard garden plot” by Julia on her bed


Saturday, June 27, 2015
1:31am
5 minutes
From the back of a photo from Sarah

You and I
We found a spot
Built our home
And a backyard garden plot
We paid the rent
We made our space
Went to bed early
Slept face to face
You and I
We found happiness
Said our I love yous
Made our promises
We created a board
To pin up all our dreams
We envisioned our lives
Crafting behind the scenes
You and I
We stayed strong
Fought sometimes
Took turns being wrong
We remembered ourselves
When we were young
Our heads filled with hopes
Our home filled with love

“your your ene me” by Julia at Jess’ kitchen table


Tuesday January 20, 2015
11:21pm
5 minutes
from Hairspray Queen
Kurt Cobain Journals


You’ve got that “I have to win” look in your eyes.
You don’t know how to not have it. Need to.
Want to.
Get to.
You do.
You’ve got that thing.
And it’s not just a look.
And it’s not just an idea.
It’s a desire, carnal, tangy.
It’s deep down.
Deep deep down-
Ocean blue black, immaculate.
Where you keep all your truths-
Where you let them wear sea pearls and dance together in the dark.
Win it.
Win this.
Fighting to win.
Fighting to fight.
Cause if you lose it-
If you ever give up on that look in your eyes-
The one telling you to rise up and take it
earn it
deserve it
own it-
Then you’ll be dark, midnight waves.
You’ll be deep dark like the hidden-
And imagined.

“beautiful tradition” by Julia on her couch


Friday February 14, 2014
9:23pm
5 minutes
A subscription letter from Bon Appetit

It’s this beautiful tradition we have where one of us is barbecuing in his socks and the other one is telling her partner that comedy is not teachable. One of us will always say “Don’t concern yourself with other people. Don’t concern yourself with what they value and choose to talk about.” The other one will always say “It’s nice you have such empathy and always take everyone else’s side when it comes to me.” One of us will flip the perfect steaks and ask “do you really want to blame everybody else for your unhappiness?” And the other one will say “I love you, Jer, but right now I don’t even want to look at you.” Then the tradition continues with a little cute thing known as a yelling match, where one of us says “This is it for me! “You’re it for me!” And the other one will cry or laugh or both until it’s over.

“Flowers for Mama” by Julia at Second Cup


Wednesday June 5, 2013 at Second Cup
6:40pm
5 minutes
from the Public Sketchbook Project at Cafe Novo

She was sick, Mama was. On her birthday…so me and Angela decided to throw her a casual house party. Bedroom party, actually. Bedroom brunch. Mama didn’t want anything crazy or expensive, so Angela and I wrote her a silly song and sang it to her with her eyes closed while she clutched each of our hands. Mama loved when Angela and I got along long enough to make things like funny songs, and eggs by accident, which she coined when we were small. These eggs were half scrambled, half nobody knows. But Mama was excited by the fact that we didn’t chew each others’ eyes out while we did it. Angela and I have never really been close. Close enough that we fight, close enough that we know each other better than anyone, but we bicker. Probably because we’re the same, Mama says. It was Angela’s idea to get flowers for Mama. I wish I could take credit but she was always better at that stuff than me. She just knew when things would matter and when they wouldn’t. Mama loved the flowers, maybe most of all. Maybe more than the eggs and that’s what I was in charge of. Angela told me later, it was my rhyming that got Mama smiling the biggest. I didn’t correct her when she said that.

“adapted for use” by Julia on the 29 going North


Tuesday, April 9, 2013
11:03pm
5 minutes
101 More Drama Games for Children
Paul Rooyackers


We’re trying this thing where we don’t stop touching at any hour of the day. Like every hour we have to at least be making physical contact, even if it’s just with our hair, or our pinkie toes, so that we can feel each others’ essence. You’d be so surprised. It actually has made us way stronger. We’re in sync, we know when to deal with things out loud and when to use physical touch to help things. We fight less. Way less. We aren’t able to sustain anger while we’re touching because it forces us to be involved with the other person, to see them, to feel them and remember they’re a love of ours. That they’re a human being with needs and sensitivities. If you’re standing so far away from someone and flailing your arms around and throwing hateful words, you can so easily detach yourself and stay mad longer. But when your ears are in direct contact with his ears, then it’s like, mind-blowingly different. It brings a sense of play to the situation so you can pull back and laugh at how ridiculous it all is, or was, or could be if you stayed the way you were staying.

“Your efforts” by Julia on the 506 going east


Saturday, March 23, 2013
2:43pm
5 minutes
A quote by Jody Hayes

Heard Liam and Hannah fighting again. I could hear it through the walls, the vents.
She threw something at him, you could tell it was expensive. I didn’t want to listen but I didn’t really have a choice. Saturday morning, sleeping in, or trying to. There it was, just right above me. Liam wasn’t saying much but then every now and then he’d grunt and yell and I got worried for Hannah in case he was getting violent with her. Hannah liked to swear very much. She rotated between throwing vases and nasty words around the apartment. I guess she enjoyed the way the anger looked, all plastered to her walls like a Pollock painting.
Liam wasn’t a very talkative person. I only ever heard him speak if I was home, trying to watch a late night movie, and he was up, trying to yell at his girlfriend because she didn’t respond to his texts quick enough. That’s when I heard him the most. I thought about getting ear plugs but then I realized, I might actually miss their sounds of sadness and anger, passion and desperation, if I ever did.